Assistant Professor, Vertebrate Biology
BDC, Olin Hall
KU-Haskell IRACDA Fellowship, University of Kansas, 2005-2007 ($48,000/yr).
Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship, University of Minnesota Graduate School, 2003-2004 ($15,500).
Monday - 9:00-11:00
Wednesday - 9:00-11:00
Friday - 9:00-11:00
I have extensive on-going collaboration with several colleagues at the Museo Argentino de Ciencias Naturales “Berrardino Rivadavia”: Dr. Pablo Tubaro, Pilar Benites, Cecelia Kopuchian, and Ana Berreria. These projects focus on analyses of plumage coloration among several different families of Neotropical birds, using models of avian visual discriminatory abilities. I am also in the process of planning, with Pilar Benites, an expedition to northwest Argentina in December 2009 to do extensive sampling of Grackle and Allies (Family: Icteridae) species. These birds are part of a long-term research effort to understand the evolution of visual physiology in this clade of Icterids.
I am currently collaborating with Sarah Overington at McGill University, Dr. A. Townsend Peterson and Dr. Jorge Soberon at the University of Kansas on a project that uses computer modeling (GARP) based on climatic ecological variables to calculate niche dimensions of Blackbird species (Family: Icteridae). We are exploring the conservation of niches through evolutionary time explicitly considering phylogenetic relationships of the icterines, and the relationships between niche dimensions and morphological attributes, such as brain size and plumage dichromatism.
Collaborating with Rob Wilson (University of Alaska, Fairbanks) to collect reflectance data from a large number of individuals of several species of South American dabbling ducks (Family: Anatidae). These data on coloration will be considered in conjunction with other morphological measurements and molecular data to determine species limits within and among the study taxa.
Collaborating with Dr. Matt Rand at Carleton College to collect reflectance data from 3 different color morphs of a high elevation lizard. We are examining the underlying genetic and hormonal control of melanic-pigmentation.
Collaborating with Dr. Jordan Price (St. Mary’s College of Maryland) on a comparative phylogenetic analysis of plumage coloration and song in the Oropendolas and Caciques (Family: Icteridae). We are examining the patterns of evolution for both song and coloration to identify concurrent evolutionary changes of these traits, and understand the role of sexual selection in driving these changes.
Sheddon, N, J.A. Tobias, M.D. Eaton, A. Odeen. (in review) Human vision can provide a valid proxy for avian perception of sexual dichromatism. The Auk.
Benites, P. M.D. Eaton, D.A. Lijtmaer, S.C. Lougheed, and P.L. Tubaro. (in review) Avian visual perspective on plumage color differences among females of Capuchinos seedeaters (Sporophila). Condor.
Govoni, P., K. Summerville, and M.D. Eaton. 2009. Nest sharing between an American Robin and a Northern Cardinal. The Wilson Journal of Ornithology 121: 424-426.
Wilson, R.E., M.D. Eaton, and K.G. McCracken. 2008. Color divergence among Cinnamon Teal (Anas cyanoptera) subspecies. Ornitologia Neotropical 19: 307-314.
Eaton, M.D., J. Soberon, and A.T. Peterson. 2008. Phylogenetic perspective on ecological niche evolution in American Blackbirds (Family Icteridae). Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 94: 869-878.
Voted Elective Member in the American Ornithologist Union, Aug. 2009
Drake University Research Grant, 2009-10 ($3000.00)
Drake University Research Grant, 2008-09 ($3000.00)
Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant, National Science Foundation, 2003-2004 ($6110).
Dayton-Wilkie Natural History Funds, Spring 2002 ($1300.00)
Dayton-Wilkie Natural History Funds, Spring 2001 ($1300.00)
Dayton-Wilkie Natural History Funds, Spring 2000 ($1000.00)
Visiting Scholar Grant, Field Museum of Natural History, Fall 2000 ($500.00)